The pandemic started just over a year and a half ago. So much of our lives have drastically changed; whether for the better or worse, nothing will ever truly be the same. One field that was particularly shaken by Covid-19 was human resources. Many people were shifted from the office to home, and the logistics and turmoil that ensued were left to the HR department to figure out. The massive role human resources played in assisting the transition from in-person to online magnified their importance and, in many ways, revitalized the enterprise. HR representatives worked closely with the C-Suite to ensure worker happiness and the company’s vitality during the peaks of uncertainty. They also provided extra physical and mental health support to employees and found a new sense of urgency for their job. The emotional turmoil that walked alongside the pandemic re-emphasized the employee’s wellbeing as a part of HR’s concerns.
Coming out of the pandemic requires companies to value and invest in their employees’ wellbeing, and a lot of this can be done through the HR department. We see a drastic increase in productivity from Menlo Park, California-based company, Globality, all due to a change in HR practices. The artificial intelligence software company shifted their HR department’s focus from addressing shortcomings, technology, procedures, and policies to highlighting their employee’s unique strengths and providing support in those areas. In an interview with SHRM, Brian Kropp, VP of Gartner and Chief of Research in the HR Practice, stresses the importance of fostering the multiple dimensions of employees and using HR to get a holistic understanding of their workers and investing in ways to support all of the aspects in an employee’s life.
Furthermore, attention to physical health is more important than ever to human resources. For offices working in-person again or on a hybrid basis, HR has had to take on the responsibility of managing sanitation, social distancing, quarantining, and vaccination status to ensure the safety of employees. Even on the distance working front, human resources are learning how to work with employees to maximize productivity without being overworked and risking burnout. Kropp brings up the unique challenges of teleworking and HR. How does HR help employees set boundaries at home to minimize distractions and maintain efficiency while also having time for breaks to check in with physical and mental wellbeing? A new concern of HR is managing the company’s responsibility to provide a safe workplace for teleworkers.
The human resources department at growing companies has a sense of responsibility for the overall wellbeing of their employees. Also, they play a valuable role in communicating with the C-Suite about the needs of the workplace. A strong HR department should work with upper management and the rank and file worker to create an encouraging system for everyone in the organization. There is room for improvement in all HR departments, and sometimes it takes an outsider looking in to see the spots needing reinforcement. Having a flourishing company culture is the number one way to attract and retain employees. If you want to increase the ”human” role of human resources within your business, contact the Miner Agency and learn ways to put your employees front and center.